Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

The American Academy of Pediatrics classifies Neonatal Intensive Care Units into four levels. The highest level of care in our region, our Level III NICU cares for the most premature newborns and very sick infants. It is staffed by highly trained neonatologists, nurses and specialists who are experts in neonatal care, and are equipped with advanced technology for services like imaging, monitoring and respiratory support. And is the only NICU in the State of Montana providing 24/7 in-house neonatology providers to provide immediate care to infants without the wait after-hours.

Recognized regionally for top-quality care, Community Children’s Level IIIb NICU has touched the lives of thousands of families in Montana and Idaho since 1976. With 34 beds, rooms can be configured as twin and triplet accommodations. Our NICU staff includes three board-certified neonatologists, neonatal nurse practitioners, neonatal therapists, NICU-trained respiratory therapists and neonatal nurses, a dietician and social worker. Subspecialties like pediatric surgery, pediatric gastroenterology, pediatric cardiology and pediatric ophthalmology are also available.

Our personal, family-centered approach emphasizes developmental care practices such as nesting and skin-to-skin contact (also known as kangaroo care). The visitation policy encourages parents to be with their babies as much as possible, and rooming-in prior to baby’s discharge is provided for moms who are ready to take their growing premature babies home.

Community is a member of the Vermont-Oxford Network, which gives us access to an international database about neonates with birth weights of less than 1,500 grams, information for improving outcomes and quality of neonatal care. Community shares our mortality statistics, which are exceptionally low at both the state and national levels.